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GM regional chief says Asia operations to remain in fold

THE Asia-Pacific operations of General Motors Corp. will stay within the company fold regardless of whether GM ends up declaring bankruptcy or not, the US automaker's regional chief said today.

Nick Reilly, president of GM's Asia and Pacific business, told reporters in Seoul, South Korea today, however, that those companies will need to be financially self-sufficient as they will be unable to access US government funds.

GM, which has received billions of dollars in government financial support, is working on a restructuring plan and has until June 1 to avoid a possible bankruptcy filing. Chrysler Corp., the US's third-largest car manufacturer, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection yesterday.

Reilly said that whether GM avoids bankruptcy or not, all of its units worldwide "will continue in the newly restructured General Motors" adding that the plan "includes all of the existing operations in Asia-Pacific."

Reilly identified those as the company's businesses in China, Australia, Thailand, other countries in the Association of Southeast Asian nations, India and South Korea.

The administration of US President Barack Obama has given GM until June 1 to come up with its own restructuring plan. The company has announced thousands of job cuts, plans to idle factories for weeks this summer and has even offered the federal government a majority stake in the company as it races to meet the deadline.

Reilly said that since GM's Asia-Pacific operations cannot access US government support funds, they have to stand on their own.

"We have to be financially self-sufficient," Reilly said. "And we are working hard on that in all countries around Asia-Pacific, many of whom are suffering from today's global economic crisis."


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